Callum Smith: I had to upgrade to 175 pounds for the sake of my own performances


Callum Smith admits he just wasn’t good enough to beat Canelo Alvarez on December 19.

The former WBA super middleweight champion won’t blame weight issues, a truncated training camp or anything other than that indisputable fact for his unbalanced loss to Alvarez in their 12-round, 168-pound title fight he nine months ago at Alamodome in San Antonio. Smith, of Liverpool, is just looking forward to fighting at the 175-pound light heavyweight limit for the first time when he meets Lenin Castillo in a 10-round Saturday night in London.

The 6-foot-3 Smith is feeling fresher after failing to lose an extra seven pounds as this training camp wrapped up for an appearance on undercard Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) is confident his extra energy will be reflected in his performance against Castillo (21-3-1, 16 KOs), a light heavyweight throughout his career who possesses power.

Smith, 31, would likely have switched to light heavyweight even if he had upset Alvarez in what would have been a career-changing victory.

“Again, it’s hard to talk about this without seeming to blame the weight for the loss, and I’m not,” Smith told IFL TV in an interview posted on his YouTube channel Thursday. . “Look, the best man beat me at night. He was too good for me that night, and there are no excuses. But I knew the time was nearing the end at 168. And even though I had won the fight, I think as a fighter, you know, and I was still doing comfortable weight, you would still want to be a champion of the game. world of two weights.

“There are always goals you want to set for yourself and mine was to unify or accelerate over time and be a two-weight world champion. But I think it gets to a point where it wasn’t in my hands. I had to evolve for my own performances. My performance was starting to decline. And I’m excited about it. I feel good. I feel better. And I hope we’ll see improvements in my fight, and we’ll see a better version of me.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Smith as a 40-1 favorite to beat Castillo, who lost unanimous decisions to WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) and former interim light heavyweight champion of WBA Marcus Browne (24-1, 16 KOs)).

The Smith-Castillo contest will be part of a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view show in the UK and Ireland (6 p.m. BST; £ 24.95). DAZN will broadcast his fight as part of the Joshua-Usyk undercard in the United States (1 p.m. EDT) and more than 170 additional countries and territories.

Keith Idec is a senior writer / columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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